Friday, December 19, 2008

Samaritan's Purse Comes to Boca del Rio

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

To everyone who has prayed and to everyone who has given over the past couple of days to meet this need we send a huge


We've reached our goal and will be able to distribute the gifts to the area children as we had prayed!!! We'll be sure to post lots of pictures here next week so you can see what we're up to! I'd like to give a special thanks to Miss Jocelyn at A Pondering Heart and the Mom-Team over at 5 Minutes for Mom for their "boost" to this endeaver. (Even though I think they would probably rather not have the credit, I'd still like to say thank you for linking up!)

Once again, Merry Christmas everyone!!!

For the first time in the history of this small fishing village, Samaritan's Purse: Operation Christmas Child is coming!

Pastor Ricardo went to Guamuchil with a group of area pastors yesterday to find out what they needed to do to receive the shoeboxes. He stopped by this morning with a prayer request, which I'm passing on to my loyal blog readers! ;^)

Samaritan's Purse will make the shoeboxes available to the church at a cost of 7 pesos each. We did wonder, as I'm sure you are wondering, why there would be a charge to receive these gifts. The men at the distribution point said that the charge was to cover the transport of the boxes from the port of Mexico City to Guamuchil (20 hours away). At any rate, the cost works out to about $.50 each. Calvary Chapel -- Boca del Rio would like to be able to distribute the boxes to the children of Boca del Rio and Las Glorias and also to the villages of Las Pitayas and Carricitos (villages which suffer extreme poverty and have no Christian church). We've cancelled our children's Christmas party, which was scheduled for today, and are praying for enough funds to purchase 500 boxes. The day of distribution will be January 2, so there is still a week to raise the money needed. That date coincides with the national celebration of Three Kings Day -- which is another gift-giving holiday here.

I know that this time of year, you see someone with their hand out every time you turn around. The Salvation Army is ringing the bell to take your change, there's a homeless person in every parking lot asking for work or food, the youth group is raising money for this, the children's department needs that, and to top it off the kids' Sunday school class expects 2 dozen cookies by tomorrow.

Well, I don't want to add to the chaos and craziness, but if you do happen to have a couple of dollars extra and would like to send a very special gift to one of 500 kids who might not receive any other gift this Christmas, it would be a blessing. We are trusting God to provide the $250 needed.

If you find yourself unable to help financially, will you please pray? We know that the fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much! So pray fervently that God would provide and that the Church would be able to bless these children and that a door would be opened to share the Gospel in Las Pitayas and Carricitos!!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogger Friend School #114 -- Betcha Can't Eat Just One!

Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Introduction: Betcha’ Can’t Eat Just One (Lays Potato Chips)
This weeks topic deals with eating potato chips and how good they are. I love salty foods so I have a terrible time eating just one. Along with these chips that I can’t eat just one of, I cannot get enough of studying my Bible. I think it’s ironic that chips (salty foods) are such a temptation. In the Bible (Leviticus) it tells us that salt is regarded as a disinfectant and when babies were born the midwife covered the baby with salt to clean its body and also to ward away any evil spirits or demons.

Assignment: Tell us about something that you can’t get enough of and what scripture(s) in the Bible you cannot tear yourself away from.

There are two kinds of people in this world: potato chip people and chocolate people. I am not a potato chip person. I really could eat just one Lay; Ruffles leave me flat. But I could eat a whole bag of Hershey's Mint Chocolate Minis. Reeces peanut butter cups make my eyes light up.

Spiritual application? Well, I dunno... ;^)

I love the teachings of Jesus in His sermon on the mount. I've spent a lot of time studying them, and I even confiscated an old book of Martin Lloyd-Jones' sermons based on the Sermon on the Mount which was given to Doug by a friend of ours. I love the writings of Paul. He encourages me and asks me to step up my walk. I like the prophets -- both major and minor -- and reading about how God has been weaving His plan throughout the generations.

My favorite, though -- my spiritual candy -- are the books of history. My mom is picking herself up off the floor right now. Never would have thought that, huh Mom? I was not the ideal history student in school. In fact, I seem to remember that class being the one I skipped most often in high school. In addition to the class being incredibly boring to me, it also was the first class of the morning. I never really have "done" mornings.

There's just something about Bible history, though, that makes my heart perk up. I pour over Biblical Archeology Today, I peruse Ken Ham's website regularly, I subscribe to Creation Magazine online and I think that I enjoy our Mystery of History class even more than the kids do!!!

I could (and do) read the accounts in Genesis and Exodus over and over. Every time I do, I learn something new; I find some new insight. For instance, do you remember the time that Abraham was in Egypt and lied about Sarah being his sister? Did you realize he did that twice??? Once in Egypt and then again in Gerar. (Genesis 12:13; Genesis 20:2) Like he didn't figure out that it was a really bad idea the first time???

Ok, so Abraham didn't always learn from his mistakes (just like me!). Hop over to Genesis 26 and you'll see that not only did he not learn, he didn't exactly share his past mistakes, and the lessons he learned through them, with his son. Verse 6 of chapter 26 says, "And Isaac dwelt in Gerar". Isaac is now living with his lovely wife Rebekah in a place where his father had lived with Sarah some years before. Read on to verse 7...

And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, "She is my sister"; for he feared to say, "She is my wife"; "lest", said he, "the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah"; because she was fair to look upon.

Can you just picture God slapping His forehead and sighing at this point??? Maybe this is where the expression "Been there, done that" came from?

From this story, I'm reminded that not only do I need to point my kids in the right direction and live so that they see Jesus in my life, but I also need to share with them (during those teachable moments!) the mistakes I've made and the lessons that God has taught me.

Ah, these incidents give me such hope!!! These men are "The Patriarchs". If they can blow it like that and still be used of God, there is indeed hope for me!!! Reading Bible history just fills a spot in my heart. Most certainly it's my spiritual "comfort food".

1 Corinthians 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come."

Have a blest week everyone!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

Most of the pictures of my kids' babyhood are in a box in my mom-in-law's garage; however, I was recently sent this great picture of this cute little red-headed girl in a watermelon suit holding her favorite little teddy bear. Isn't she just the cutest little thing???
Click over to Sarah's blog to wish her a happy sixteenth birthday!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BFS #113 -- Finger Lickin' Good

Memory Verse: Matthew 14:19…Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Intro: Finger Lickin’ Good (Kentucky Fried Chicken)- You can read about Christ feeding the 5,000 in many places in the Bible (Matthew14:19;15:36; Luke 5:6;9:3-17). I am a fairly new Christian and one of the many things I love about reading the accounts of Jesus’ miracles, is that there was not a big drum roll, fireworks, a thousand dollar suit or an agent building up some big preview of what was about to happen. Jesus would calmly say things such as “have faith”, “believe”, “have them sit and pass out these loaves of bread”, and then the miracles began.

Assignment: Although I am not able to produce miracles, it sometimes feels like I need to when it comes to meal time. There are times when money is tight, groceries are few and I have to feed my family. During the holiday season, you might have so much going on that you need to make a meal quickly with as few ingredients as possible. This week post your favorite recipes that require six (6) ingredients or less. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Great assignment, Kerri! Over the past 6 months or so, I've been compiling photos, articles and recipes for an online cookbook/budget cooking blog. I'm pulling from one of my files for this assignment.

I've cooked on a shoestring budget for years (forever!). Moving to Mexico as missionaries just "stepped it up" a bit. Some of the normal, inexpensive foods we've eaten for years are neither normal nor inexpensive here. For instance, Ramen noodles and all other forms of pasta are easily twice what we used to pay in Oregon. There is no "day old bread store", so a loaf of bread costs over $2. I used to purchase meat that was "close dated", but there's no such thing here. When I find meat of any kind here for less than $2.00 per pound, I get excited!

Yes, some foods are cheaper here. Generally speaking, junk food and produce in season are really cheap. I suppose that's similar to the States. Rule #1 of shopping on a budget is to buy what's in season and what's on sale. If you're craving blueberries in January, you should expect to pay $4 a pound for them. If you buy them in June or July, you can pick them yourself for less than $1 a pound. So, don't plan to make blueberry buckle for breakfast in January unless you were wise in June and froze a few pounds!

Enough! To the recipe!!!

The 6 ingredients I chose to use are (insert drumroll)...

  • Roma tomatoes
  • Oregano (and other spices you'll have laying around the house)
  • Butter
  • Garlic (maybe a bit of onion if you like)
  • Pasta noodles
  • French Bread (which I counted as one ingredient in the meal, although it's a few more in reality! Most folks would pick up a loaf at the used bread store rather than make it from scratch anyway!)

I chose this recipe for 3 main reasons:

  1. It's really super easy.
  2. It's really super cheap. (Especially when 'maters are in season)
  3. The kids really super like it.

Wash and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Figure one tomato per person, although littler kids will eat less and Dad will want more.

Mince a couple of cloves of garlic. Garlic powder is a passable substitute, but you won't get the same zing from it, and you'll need to add quite a bit. At this time, you might also want to chop a little onion. I have some anti-onion people here, so I don't usually use them in this recipe.

Slice the French bread, wrap in a warm towel and set aside. (If you put it in the oven, it might dry out -- I've accidently made crutons that way more than once!)

Start a large pan of water boiling in which to cook the noodles.

In a heavy skillet, melt 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter. Yes. That's a lot of butter. I like butter. I've also used vegetable oil or olive oil, but then you need to add more salt, so which is worse???

Sautee the garlic (and onion if desired) along with some black pepper, parsley, basil and more oregano than you think you ought to add in the butter until the garlic is a bit transparent and the dried herbs are soft (only a few moments).

Add the chopped tomatoes all at once, and step back quickly! Stir gently to coat tomatoes with butter and herbs. Add some salt and sugar -- yes, sugar -- or honey. Some tomatoes will need more than others.

Let the tomatoes cook a couple of minutes and then add a little water. If I'm cooking 4 cups of chopped tomatoes, I'll add about a cup to a cup and a half of water. Cover and let simmer until the noodles are done (about 10 minutes or so).

At this point, your pan of water should be boiling, so toss the pasta noodles into the water and cook according to directions.

Don't be afraid to use some pasta other than thin spaghetti. My kids really like shells -- they hold the sauce better. Plus, with little kids, if you serve spaghetti noodles, they're expecting "spaghetti". This dish has all the right ingredients, but you're not going to trick any discerning 4 year old into believing that chunks of tomatoes in butter over pasta is spaghetti! Call it something clever like "Red Lava over Shell Mountain". My kids to this day call homemade mac and cheese "Monster Goo".

Taste the sauce as you go!!! If it's bland, add more salt. If it's bitter, add more sweetener. You could also add fruit juice as a sweetener (but that's another ingredient!!!). If the amount of salt is good and it tastes sweet enough, add more oregano. Seriously. Add a ridiculous amount of oregano! ;^)

When the noodles are done, drain them out and toss with a bit of olive oil (or vegetable oil) to keep them from sticking together.

Serve with French bread and (if you're feeling extravagant) bagged salad. That's another luxury we don't have here! :^)

With this meal (minus the bagged salad, of course) I can feed my family of 8 for about $4 US (assuming that tomatoes are either in season, or I'm using ones I froze when they were in season!) AND from start to finish the meal is ready in about half an hour (that's assuming that I don't have to stop for any reason and get side-tracked -- pretty assumptive, I know.)

Provecho!!! (Enjoy!)

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortelece!

Filipenses 4:13
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

17 Years Ago Today

Today is the Coult family's seventeenth anniversary. To celebrate our 17 years of marriage, I thought I'd post a great picture/scrapbook layout that a dear friend of mine made for us. If you like her work (and who wouldn't???) you might want to check out her collections of digital scrapbooking layouts over at Scrap Girls. Thanks, Ursula!!! You're awesome!!! ;^)


What does it say on the bottom?
"Life is all about learning how to allow love to flow freely out of yourself and then patiently waiting for others' love to flow in once again."

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

BFS #112 -- J-E-L-L-O

Memory Verse: Romans 10:17 - So then faith cometh by hearing
and hearing by the word of God.

Intro: America’s Favorite Dessert J-E-L-L-O - What we read affects what we believe. When we feed the Scriptures in our spirit, faith comes alive and becomes a living force within you.

Assignment: Write about your favorite ‘faith food’. Tell about the books of the Bible that you read that help to build your faith. Nurture the seeds of faith inside you. ex: Acorns become Oak trees. It seems Mr. Linky is messed up again, so please leave your site and post number in the comments so we can access your post. Thank you.

My favorite faith food? Um...the Bible. Since God's word is living and active and powerful, it has a tendency to speak to me in different ways at different times in my life. About a week ago, I wrote a post about taking a step of faith to become a missionary.

Here's the beginning of the article...

In case you're thinking that you couldn't possibly become a missionary, because missionaries obviously "have it all together" and just "know" the will of God in their lives, allow me to introduce you to two missionaries who -- even after severe persecution for their faith and several years on the "mission field" -- didn't quite have it all figured out.

Act 16:6-10 Then [Paul and Silas] went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the word in
Asia. They went as far as Mysia and tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision. A man from Macedonia was standing there and pleading with him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" As soon as he had seen the vision, we immediately looked for a way to go to Macedonia, for we were convinced that God had called us to tell them the good news.
Paul and Silas, who are probably best known for the prison account of Acts 16 where the Philippian jailer was converted, are now considered spiritual giants. The above passage, however, does not paint a picture of men who have it all together. This dynamic duo sometimes took steps of faith which were not in the correct direction. Sometimes God had to put huge billboards, so to speak, in front of them to get them to adjust their heading.

Click here to read the rest of this article at our ministry webpage.

When I saw that this week's theme was Jell-O, my first thought was, "Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle..." I couldn't imagine a spiritual application!!! Good job, Nancy! Not an easy assignment, but a good one! We are what we eat, right? More so, we are what we read...

Luke 6:45 A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is good, and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

"...porque de la abundancia del corazón habla la boca."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Animal Farm

I do like animals. I've said that before. All my life I've had pets -- generally the normal cat/dog/rabbit/gerbil. Since we've moved to Mexico, we've expanded our horizons to include giant lizards, pythons, pelicans and Oyster Catchers.

At this moment, though, our animal collection is limited to 2 cats, 3 kittens, 2 dogs, 3 puppies, 4 ducks and 3 turtles. That's limited. A month ago we had 11 puppies and a giant iguana, too.

I like "free-range" animals best. Have you ever gone to a zoo and come home depressed at how miserable the animals looked? I never wanted my critters to have that sad, dejected look. I think I watched Charlotte's Web too many times as a child. We raised goats for some time when we lived in Oregon. Our first "family goat" was a black pygmy goat named Lucky. He was so funny! We just let him roam around loose and eat blackberry bushes.

There is one issue with free range animals: Poop.

I walked out the front door one morning a couple of weeks ago and this is what I saw...

Yes, the 4 ducks, 3 puppies and all 5 cats are eating from the same dishes. Those critters just have a way of making a mess, so I grabbed the hose and started taking care of what needed to be taken care of.

I heard a noise and turned around...

That one is not mine. The neighbor's pony had stopped by to say hello.

OK, horse. I am NOT cleaning up after you, too!!!

I think animals can just sense when someone is a pushover, don't you?
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why We Keep the Computer in the Living Room

'Nuff said.
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Happy Cumpleaños Andrew

Andrew turned 11 on the 7th of November and I'm finally getting to post photos of his big day! We had a great time! It was especially good that Doug returned home the night before -- Andrew didn't say so, but I know that he would have been pretty bummed if Dad hadn't been there to celebrate with us!!!

Here's Andrew's birthday photo collage...

We opened presents early in the day -- who wants to wait till bedtime? Where's the fun in that???
Can you tell that Andrew is the outdoor type by his gifts?

Maria and her family, Andrew's friend Michael and Esteban came over to celebrate with us. Andrew said he didn't want any games or candy -- just pizza and a tres leches cake (a Mexican specialty, which I attempted for the first time...Note to Self: don't attempt something new and complicated for a big celebration.)

So, we made PIZZA!!!!!!

Although the cake was a pretty complete failure as a "pastel de tres leches", it tasted wonderful! No one complained (except me) and there were no leftovers. It looked good on Andrew, too. Definitely his color!

After cake and pizza, all the boys chased Andrew outside with buckets of water (no photos for a reason!!!) and then everyone came inside and watched Iron Man.
Happy Birthday, Andrew!!!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Thanksgiving Blessing to My Friends

To be honest, Thanksgiving Day nearly passed me by unawares this year. I only just remembered on Saturday when I was in town, so I was able to get some cream cheese for our traditional Thanksgiving cheesecakes. Most of the "traditional" Thanksgiving Day foods aren't available here (or you have to pay an arm and a leg for them) so we've adapted, but cheesecake crosses all cultural lines!

My blessing for you my friends and family this Thanksgiving season comes from Colossians chapter 4 verses 2 through 6 (This is the NI-me version, so bear with me a bit)
Continue in prayer and watch in prayer with thanksgiving. Pray for us, too, that God would open a door to speak the mystery of Christ to those around us -- which is why we are here. Pray that we would show the mystery as we ought as we speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who don't understand the mystery, redeeming the time. Speak with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you would know how to answer every person who questions you.

I pray that God's grace would dwell in you richly this season and every day!

-- Rebecca
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